Toppan creates separate semiconductor photomask business

Toppan creates separate semiconductor photomask business

Business news |
By Jean-Pierre Joosting

Toppan has entered into a share transfer agreement to carve out its semiconductor photomask business and establish a new company, Toppan Photomask Co., Ltd., with independent Japanese private equity company Integral Corporation as an investment partner. Toppan Photomask begins operations as a joint venture between Toppan and Integral. The company will drive further growth and strengthen competiveness as an independent business entity that continues to support the rapidly growing semiconductor industry.

As digital innovation accelerates in diverse markets due to the evolution of technologies including artificial intelligence, automotive, power, and 5G networks, the global semiconductor market continues to expand at a rapid pace and is forecast to be worth more than 100 trillion yen in 2030. Against a backdrop of a global shortage of semiconductors, manufacturers are moving to bolster production capacity, which is in turn driving unprecedented demand for photomasks, essential components for semiconductor fabrication.

Since entering the photomask business in 1961, Toppan has continued to support growth of the semiconductor industry by deploying its advanced technological capabilities and expanding its manufacturing network from Japan to Asia, North America, and Europe. Amid a growing trend for national governments to support domestic production of semiconductors, Toppan is the only photomask manufacturer to have a worldwide production network and enjoys the leading share of the merchant market for semiconductor photomasks.

The rapid growth of the semiconductor market, however, is driving the photomask market to a turning point, requiring manufacturers to make investments in R&D and equipment faster and more flexibly than ever before, based on accurate assessment of market changes and customer trends.

After extensive exploration of potential strategic options in response to the market environment, Toppan has determined that the best way to contribute to greater value for customers and shareholders is to implement an agile investment-focused strategy based on market needs by joining with Integral. This strategy will enable continuous enhancement of growth and competitive strength by increasing the degree of management freedom as an independent business entity.

While receiving support as a consolidated subsidiary of Toppan Inc., Toppan Photomask will continue to manufacture semiconductor photomasks, strengthen its management and governance functions by taking advantage of support and expertise from Integral—which has an extensive track record of supporting IPOs—and drive the business forward to achieve accelerated growth toward a future stock market listing.

In its semiconductor-related business, Toppan will also strengthen FC-BGA substrate offerings, which are seeing robust demand, and develop and provide components and devices for growth fields such as healthcare, mobility, communication, and sensors.

Toppan Photomask is headed by CEO Teruo Ninomiya, who commented, “An IPO will be one milestone for us in the future as we look to support the long-term growth of the semiconductor sector in collaboration with our customers in a constantly changing landscape. We will bring together the expertise and excellence of our people throughout the world to drive continuous improvement and create new value as our customers’ first-choice partner by leveraging strengths in technological development and teamwork as well as the outstanding quality, cost, and delivery enabled by our global manufacturing network.”

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